My life used to be so different. I often found myself sitting at home thinking about my presence on earth and what my purpose was. Not only was I curious, I was frustrated. Frustrated that my peers were deeply enthralled in their own spiritual lives but here I was left to figure it all out myself. So, I took it as a challenge to learn more about myself and to discover the deeper meaning of life. Being a very independent person, I brought it upon myself to embrace faith although I was brought up so strongly without it. It all started in a car with one of the most influential people in my life whether he knows it or not, my basketball coach Joe. I found myself sitting his car on the way home from a strenuous basketball game in which he would strongly criticize me, but never too much to handle. Suddenly, the thought of asking him about his spiritual life swiftly filled my mind, but I blew it off, thinking to myself it was just one of my many errant thoughts. As we came to the next light a few minutes later the thought arose in my head again, and when the light turned green, I vividly remember passing a baptist church. At that point, I knew that my thought wasn’t just a random occurrence so anxiously I asked “How did you start to become a believer of any faith?”, his response is one I’ll never forget. He went on to tell me how his parents got divorced and he grew up in a Catholic family and how his life was at an all time low when he decided to believe in any faith related teachings. He then asked for my permission to pray for me, although we were sitting in the car together, which, uneasily I said “sure”. It was in this moment that I realized I had a special connection with a God. A feeling of the most filling warmth entered my heart and it was something I’ve never felt before, with my eyes beginning to water I reflected on my life and what I wanted to be and who I was now.
From that point on in my life, I’ve been chasing that feeling of warmth. I’ve been helping out in the community, talking to people, giving advice, and most importantly trying to better myself. Although many feelings of a “high” are usually drug related and cause negative impacts on your life, this feeling that I’m chasing is one that has had such a positive impact on my life and brought me to a higher level of character. The longing I feel everyday for that feeling continues to push me to be the best I can be and more importantly be filled with a new spirituality that propels me to become that person I’ve always wanted to be.
Title: Self appraisal of therapeutic practice
Assessment task link to unit learning outcomes:
● differentiate and critically evaluate the central approaches to counselling;
● apply counselling micro-skills in a systematic manner;
● understand the dynamics and diversity of individual counselling and apply their skills accordingly;
● critically appraise your performance as a counsellor;
● demonstrate both an understanding of the importance of the therapeutic alliance, and application of relevant strategies to develop it ;
● demonstrate knowledge and application of cultural competence;
● demonstrate an understanding of your own values and style, and the influence of these on your counselling practice
● develop treatment plans and write accurate concise file notes
Details of task: Students are required to organise a minimum of three counselling sessions with a volunteer client. There should be no more than five sessions overall. The last session of therapy is to be recorded.
In this assignment you are write a self-evaluation of you as a counsellor. You will also need to complete a skills assessment of a peer.
Your first step will be to arrange an initial meeting with your client to determine the issue that they would like to discuss. At this point you need to research this particular area of concern and develop an appropriate treatment plan you can implement. Be prepared to be flexible with the issues your client may discuss, and adapt your treatment plan or session accordingly.
The steps required for this task are to:
1. Arrange an initial meeting with your client to determine the area of concern (DONE)
2. Research the presenting area and develop a treatment plan ( need writer to furnish it – as attached in further documents)
3. Deliver a minimum of three and no more than five sessions with your client (4 sessions in total)
4. Make SOAP notes of all sessions (DONE)
5. Record the last session, which should be around 50 minutes (DONE)
6. Identify your counselling skills that are established and skills that need developing. Present these using specific examples from your last session. You should use the self – skills assessment form to identify these. Be a critical friend to yourself – not too easy, not too hard. (CBT- Problem solving approach) – for writer to note
7. Send your recording to your nominated peer (not your self-assessment). Your peer will identify the counselling skills that are established and those that need developing, using the peer skills assessment form. Your peer should also write a one paragraph overview of the skills they believe you have demonstrated and those that you need to develop further. They should provide constructive, helpful feedback – not too easy, not too hard. ( will provide to writer in further documents)
8. Provide a critical evaluation of the three stages of counselling presented by Egan, in regard to your client. This would include cultural relevance (e.g. race, ethnicity etc.).
Word count DOES NOT include references or appendices.
Word count/equivalent: 5000 words
ASSIGNMENT – Write up guide
Please use the headings below as the basis for your assignment.
The Dot points are to give you some ideas for themes to explore in each section- you do not have to address these individually
Word count: 5000 words (+/- 10%). Word limits in each section have been added as a guide, but are flexible.
1. Brief introduction (approx.1200 words)
· Explain the purpose of the exercise.
· Provide a description of the client’s presenting problem.
· A brief overview of all the sessions conducted with the client.
2. Self-appraisal (approx.1500 words)
· Identify the skills you employed. You need to quote parts of your recorded session as evidence of particular skills you used or interventions you thought were particularly effective, or less than effective. . You can also use quotes from your SOAP notes to provide examples of skills
There is no requirement for the number of quotes. Select a few that are relevant and illustrate a point or skill
· Identify the skills you did not employ and/or need further development.
· What do you need to improve?
· You can include reflections from all your counselling sessions in this section.
3. Peer appraisal (approx.600 words)
· What skills did your peer identify as strengths? As areas that require further development?
· How does that compare to your own self appraisal?
· If there are differences, why do you think this is so?
4. Critical evaluation of the effectiveness of therapy. (approx. 1200 words)
( For writer to note: I use CBT with problem solving approach)
· How do you think the client perceived the effectiveness of the counselling offered? What evidence do you have to say this?
· How appropriate was the treatment plan? What modifications did you make/should have made? Why?
5. Critical evaluation of the Egan model -in relation to your client and generally (approx.500 words)
· What are the general attributes and deficits of the Egan model?
· How well did it work with your client?
· Did you identify gaps/limitations that made the model not as useful for your client?
· How culturally appropriate do you think the Egan model is?
6. References List: (NOT included in the word count)
· as a guide use between 15 -20 references
7. Appendices: (NOT included in the word count)
The Appendices must include:
· Self – Skills assessment form -of your own skills in the last session only ( Will attached the document for writer reference)
· Peer- Skills assessment form– of your skills, completed by your peer (based on the recorded session) ( Will attached the document for writer reference)
· Treatment plan for all sessions- keep this succinct. This should be the original plan you formulated, based on the information obtained from your client in your initial meeting or first session. While you may well have needed to make changes to the Treatment Plan as counselling progressed, these do not need to be reflected in the Treatment Plan you submit. ( Writer to modify treatment plan for 4 sessions, will attach document)
Marking criteria is based on the above plus the quality and presentation of your writing i.e. spelling, grammar, APA referencing, clear and descriptive expression, use of an even voice (not too critical, not too uncritical).
Counselling Expertise- Your counselling does not need to be perfect! What is important is how you critique yourself. If you feel you have made mistakes, then discuss that in the critique. This is not an exercise about producing a model counselling session. Instead it is about self-reflection and improving your skills.
As part of developing a treatment plan, can/should I use the DSM-5 to diagnose the issues with my client?
No, as forming a clinical diagnosis is not generally part of a counsellor’s role. Focus on your client’s behaviour and mood. If appropriate, you can use assessment tools that are designed for generalist use, such as scales measuring anxiety/stress, sleep issues, self-esteem etc
How do we critically evaluate the Egan model, if we don’t have any other model to compare it with?
You are focusing on how well it worked, or not, as applied to your client. Did you identify gaps/limitations that made the model not as useful for your client?
If you did not, then you can discuss the applicability of the model generally – including cultural applicability. What kinds of clients might it work well, and less well, with?
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